Stella Darlene Ruddle Adcock 1920-2013
Known as “Miss Stella” at Kingwood Arms, Manchester, where she resided for the last seventeen years, Stella Darlene Ruddle Adcock, 93, passed away November 18, 2013 after a short stay at Mc Author Manor.
She was born July 1, 1920 in the Southeast Missouri Bootheel community of Hayward, formerly Stewart’s Landing, in the shadow of the great Mississippi River levee where her family had lived and farmed since 1790. Most survived the catastrophic New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12 remaining in the area to become civic leaders, merchants and ministers of the gospel.
Ms. Adcock descended from several Scotch-Irish pioneer families who moved west from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to the New Madrid District of Upper Louisiana via Kentucky, South Carolina and eastern Tennessee prior to the Louisiana Purchase. She was the only surviving child of William Franklin Ruddle (d 1928) and Carrie Wade Cheatham Ruddle (d 1985) natives of New Madrid and Pemescot Counties in Missouri. Ruddle’s Point remains a Mississippi River navigational landmark.
She was graduated from Portageville, MO High School in 1938, where she was an attentive student and an outstanding basketball player, and later from Caruthersville, MO Cosmetology School. As a young widow following WWII, she established a business in Portageville at her grandfather’s former residence.
She is survived by two daughters; Darlene “Blossom” Murphy Merryman (Leo, dec.), Wartrace, TN, and Patricia L. Hufstedler Martin (Timothy), Hoover, AL, and one son,
J. R. Allstun (Melissa), Daphne, AL. Four grandchildren; Gregory Lee Merryman (Michelle), Murfreesboro, Lisa Merryman Matchett (Trevor), Homewood, AL, Melissa O’Guinn Conn, Manchester, TN, Lance T. Allstun, Bay St. Louis, MS, and step grandson, John King, Covington, KY.
Four great grandchildren; Ian Merryman (Abbie), Murfreesboro, Renee Merryman, Phoenix, AZ, Aidan and Mairenn Matchett, Homewood, AL, two step great grandchildren, Christian and Abby Hoermann, Murfreesboro, and two great great grandchildren, Mason and McKinley Merryman, Murfreesboro.
In her eighties, she became computer literate and wrote several recollections of her early life in MO. She studied and enjoyed all things Southern; history and folklore, storytelling, cooking and literature, loved the Mississippi River, its quaint cities and steamboats, the sugar white sand beaches of the Gulf, and a well blended margarita.
She was a keen wildlife observer and an avid NASCAR racing fan. An accomplished seamstress, she passed along family tales to her grandchildren while teaching them sewing skills and traditional needlework, examples of which are treasured by her descendants.
In the 1990′s Ms. Adcock participated as a mentor in the student ‘pen pal’ program sponsored by the teaching staff at Coffee County Middle School.
On the eve of the approaching Millennium her reflections on life included; “I had my ups and downs, but life was never boring”.
Her life, well lived, will be fondly commemorated at a family gathering on the Emerald Coast on her birthday in 2014.
No services planned at this time.
Memorials to Coffee CO Humane Society, Keep Coffee County Beautiful or charity of your choice.